Obama to Unveil $2B Energy Research Plan

He'd shift revenue from oil and gas leases to pay for it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2013 9:34 AM CDT
An engineer fills an 18650 lithium-ion battery cell with electrolyte using semi-automated equipment at the Argonne National Laboratory's cell fabrication facility in Lemont, Ill, January 14, 2011.   (AP Photo/Argonne National Laboratory)

(Newser) – President Obama wants to get the country off of fossil fuels—using the oil companies' own money. President Obama will today unveil a plan to pump $2 billion into alternative energy research over the next decade, diverting the money from federal oil and gas leases, the New York Times reports. Obama first mentioned the idea in his State of the Union address, and while some Republicans have said they could support it, many in the House are likely to paint it as a tax on energy producers.

The White House's contention is that the money will come from increased drilling revenue on public land over the next decade. Obama sees this as a modest alternative to more sweeping climate change action that would require new revenues, which he has essentially given up on, and will depict it as part of his "all of the above" energy strategy. He'll announce the plan at the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, a major innovator in vehicle technology, reports USA Today. The focus is expected to be on green cars. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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